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Old 27-06-2016, 02:24   #316
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Where does the law say you can't change the batteries yourself?

I personally wouldn't, but where do you get this from?

I guess you can't 'renew' the date without the manafacturer doing it, that's true. But I don't think it's illegal to do it you're self.

Keep in mind that these things will last ten years. That's not expensive.
In most cases, you can't get batteries for devices which have non-user replaceable batteries, and you can't get the gaskets and other items you need to do the job.

The excuse is that you don't want the ignorant user to screw up the installation and compromise the watertight integrity of the device. In fairness, this IS a matter of life and death, but I do think that a device could be designed so that battery replacement is reasonably fool proof. In reality, this is a money maker for the manufacturers, who earn on the services and even more, earn on the more frequent replacement of the devices because the users don't find it economical to service them.

I don't know where you found a device with 10 year battery life -- the ACR gear I use requires battery replacement on the earlier to occur of 6 years after manufacture or 5 years after putting into service. I imagine the annual cost of these things by dividing their initial cost by the number of years of battery life -- I think they're basically a write-off after the battery expires. That's because the cost of service is typically about 2/3 the cost of buying new, and better and better devices keep coming out, so why would you bother?
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Old 27-06-2016, 02:30   #317
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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In most cases, you can't get batteries for devices which have non-user replaceable batteries, and you can't get the gaskets and other items you need to do the job.

The excuse is that you don't want the ignorant user to screw up the installation and compromise the watertight integrity of the device. In fairness, this IS a matter of life and death, but I do think that a device could be designed so that battery replacement is reasonably fool proof. In reality, this is a money maker for the manufacturers, who earn on the services and even more, earn on the more frequent replacement of the devices because the users don't find it economical to service them.

I don't know where you found a device with 10 year battery life -- the ACR gear I use requires battery replacement on the earlier to occur of 6 years after manufacture or 5 years after putting into service. I imagine the annual cost of these things by dividing their initial cost by the number of years of battery life -- I think they're basically a write-off after the battery expires. That's because the cost of service is typically about 2/3 the cost of buying new, and better and better devices keep coming out, so why would you bother?
Here you go. One of the most reliable down under. $275, ten year battery life with 20 year shelf life. that's 7 cents a day folks.

EPIRB KTI Safety Alert SA1G 406MHz GPS Beacon - SkippersMate
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Old 27-06-2016, 02:51   #318
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

And for those who prefer PLB, here's one with both a ten year battery life, 20 year shelf. GPS and less than a bigger epirb. $249

KTI - SA2G - SafetyAlert PLB wiith GPS + Free Armband
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Old 27-06-2016, 02:51   #319
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Here you go. One of the most reliable down under. $275, ten year battery life with 20 year shelf life. that's 7 cents a day folks.

EPIRB KTI Safety Alert SA1G 406MHz GPS Beacon - SkippersMate
Very cool! Too bad it's not sold over here.
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Old 27-06-2016, 02:56   #320
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The legislation forces those with an expired EPIRB to purchase a new one. I think boats with an expired EPIRB and limited funds, would be better to purchase a PLB.

The PLB has virtually the same technology as the EPIRB apart from the shorter battery life.

The EPIRB with the expired battery is still very likely to work. A boat with the combination of PLB attached to the skippers lifejacket/harness and an EPIRB (albeit with an expired battery) is safer, I believe, than the boat with two EPIRBs. The real difference is in the case of a rapid emergency like a collision.
I'm sorry I should have clarified. ALL EPIRBs now sold in Australia are also PLBs. EPIRBs transmit on 121.5 vhf to any nearby aircraft. PLBs transmit to satellites on 406 MHz uhf, and include a GPS fix so they know exactly where you are.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:00   #321
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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I'm sorry I should have clarified. ALL EPIRBs now sold in Australia are also PLBs. EPIRBs transmit on 121.5 vhf to any nearby aircraft. PLBs transmit to satellites on 406 MHz uhf, and include a GPS fix so they know exactly where you are.
don't think that's correct.

"Once activated, an EPIRB will continuously transmit a specific encoded radio signal on 406 MHz capable of detection by COSPAS/SARSAT satellites throughout the world whilst simultaneously transmitting a 121.5 MHz homing signal"

Plb's are only 406 MHz

I think that's the difference.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:06   #322
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Very cool! Too bad it's not sold over here.
Compared to the US dollar you would still benefit from buying here.

Something else to keep in mind. I think the USA requires epirbs to be automatic / water activated. Where as in Australia we generally don't use water activated ones at all.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:12   #323
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Not so different Dockhead..

EPIRBs | PLBs | sailing epirbs, satellite connection, GPS, personal locator beacon, fastfind
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:15   #324
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
don't think that's correct.

"Once activated, an EPIRB will continuously transmit a specific encoded radio signal on 406 MHz capable of detection by COSPAS/SARSAT satellites throughout the world whilst simultaneously transmitting a 121.5 MHz homing signal"

Plb's are only 406 MHz

I think that's the difference.
Rustic is mostly right.

EPIRBS and PLB's ALL transmit the distress signal on 406.

EPIRBS transmit a homing signal on 121.5. As far as I know ALL PLB's ALSO transmit the same homing signal on 121.5; in any case the ACR ones do.

The only real difference between EPIRBs and PLBs is that PLB's are not required to have 48 hours battery life; the minimum requirement is 24 hours. That and -- EPIRBs are designed to put the antenna in the right position when the EPIRB is just floating in the water. With PLB's, you have to hold the device yourself and orient the antenna. EPIRB antennae are a bit better than PLB ones.

But as Noelex said, for all practical purposes, they are the same devices and fulfill the same purpose, with the enormous advantage in PLB's that you can keep them on your person, which greatly reduces the risk that you will abandon without it.

For most cruisers, 48 hours of battery life is not needed. Where it could be needed, two PLB's would do the trick -- pop one, wait 24 -36 hours, then pop the other. But as Rustic and others have said -- if I were going out that far from SAR assets, the second device I would have would be an EPIRB.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:29   #325
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Rustic is mostly right.

EPIRBS and PLB's ALL transmit the distress signal on 406.

EPIRBS transmit a homing signal on 121.5. As far as I know ALL PLB's ALSO transmit the same homing signal on 121.5; in any case the ACR ones do.

The only real difference between EPIRBs and PLBs is that PLB's are not required to have 48 hours battery life; the minimum requirement is 24 hours. That and -- EPIRBs are designed to put the antenna in the right position when the EPIRB is just floating in the water. With PLB's, you have to hold the device yourself and orient the antenna. EPIRB antennae are a bit better than PLB ones.

But as Noelex said, for all practical purposes, they are the same devices and fulfill the same purpose, with the enormous advantage in PLB's that you can keep them on your person, which greatly reduces the risk that you will abandon without it.

For most cruisers, 48 hours of battery life is not needed. Where it could be needed, two PLB's would do the trick -- pop one, wait 24 -36 hours, then pop the other. But as Rustic and others have said -- if I were going out that far from SAR assets, the second device I would have would be an EPIRB.
yep your correct. I've checked four of them including KTI, ACR, and two others and they all have the homing signal.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:47   #326
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
You don't 'have' to purchase a new one. You can replace the batteries

I'm not sure why you would spend that money to do so, but you can do that.

And we are talking ten years of battery
Yes, you can change the battery, but in my view this is the least sensible option. You end up with one EPIRB. No redundancy.

For the same (or very similar) cost you can get a new PLB attached to your lifejacket/harness and have the old EPIRB (with an expired battery) as a reserve. Unfortunately this later option would not be legal in Australia (for offshore sailing).

The battery expiry date is very conservative and the EPIRB is very likely to function normally, perhaps with a slightly reduced transmit time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
EPIRBS and PLB's ALL transmit the distress signal on 406.

EPIRBS transmit a homing signal on 121.5. As far as I know ALL PLB's ALSO transmit the same homing signal on 121.5; in any case the ACR ones do.

The only real difference between EPIRBs and PLBs is that PLB's are not required to have 48 hours battery life; the minimum requirement is 24 hours. That and -- EPIRBs are designed to put the antenna in the right position when the EPIRB is just floating in the water. With PLB's, you have to hold the device yourself and orient the antenna. EPIRB antennae are a bit better than PLB ones.
Spot on.
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Old 27-06-2016, 03:51   #327
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

My expired Epirb did not have a battery. The previous owner removed it. I've been told a 6v lantern battery can power it at a pinch, but that's too large to fit inside. Lol.

Older EPIRBs are/were 121.5 MHz only and had no GPS.
PLBs are 406 MHz.

The newer EPIRBS combine a GPS receiver with dual transmitters for both 121.5 and 406 MHz.

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Old 27-06-2016, 04:06   #328
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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The newer EPIRBS combine a GPS receiver with dual transmitters for both 121.5 and 406 MHz.
PLBs are the same.
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Old 27-06-2016, 04:18   #329
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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If the EPIRB works then no one will check it. If it doesnt then it wont matter because the person will not be found....
Not if the Water Police decide to check all my safety equipment before I go blue water. I did mention "nanny state", didn't I?
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Old 27-06-2016, 04:31   #330
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Re: Father and his kids missing at sea

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Not if the Water Police decide to check all my safety equipment before I go blue water. I did mention "nanny state", didn't I?
You might keep in mind when your complaining about 'nanny' states, that most of the time in 'Australia' that search and rescue are called out and put their own lives at risk to rescue those who need nannying, that these rescuers are volunteers with families at home. And when it's not volunteers, and where there are paid staff, they are still people with families. Someone's sister, brother, father, mother etc.

That's the purpose behind 'nanny' legislation as you call it.
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